CUMBERLAND – A large quantity of crack cocaine destined for distribution in Harlan County was intercepted Tuesday, December 19.
UNITE detectives arrested 25-year-old Rodneshia Donyell Billings (aka Smith), of Old Maynardville Pike, Knoxville, on one count first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Police received a tip about 4:45 p.m. that a large quantity of crack cocaine was being delivered to Cumberland in a Buick Century driven by Billings.
A short time later a UNITE detective spotted the vehicle around the Dione community and followed it for approximately three miles. About 5:28 p.m. detectives, along with Cumberland Police Officer Rodney Sturgill and Harlan County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Howard, stopped the car on U.S. 119 just inside the Cumberland city limits.
The vehicle was occupied by Billings, an adult male, and two children – ages 1 month and 2 years.
When officers approached, Billings reached inside her shirt and handed them a diaper containing approximately two ounces of crack cocaine.
Billings said the cocaine, which has a street value of about $12,000, was intended for delivery to a suspect in Cumberland.
Police received permission to search the Buick, which was done with assistance from a sheriff’s office drug dog, but no additional drugs were located.
Billings was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center.
A Social Service worker was contacted to take care of the children. Because the vehicle did not have insurance, Social Services decided to call relatives in Knoxville to come and take custody.
UNITE is continuing the investigation and additional arrests are expected.
For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at www.operationunite.org.